Frequently Asked Questions

horse looking perplexed


Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about Learning Levels and LLPro memberships?

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What are "Learning Levels"?
Learning Levels are modules of a progressive educational system for equine education, covering beginning riding principles, equine knowledge, ground training and horse care skills.

Each colorful Level allows you to track students’ progress as they develop into versatile, well-rounded riders and horsemen. Students work to master specific skills in each of the Levels, and receive recognition for completion when they are able to consistently demonstrate each of the skills to their instructor. In many cases, achievement of one Level is a prerequisite for learning more advanced skills.
How many Levels are there?
Our Horsemanship and HorseSense curriculums have 8 Levels: Rainbow (optional), Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, Orange, Purple, and Teal.

group of learning levels ribbons

The HorseCentered curriculum has 3 Levels: Pink, White, and Gold.
Is the curriculum for mounted or unmounted lessons?
The Learning Levels system actually has three different curriculums:

You can combine parts of all three curriculums to create your own unique instruction program!
Can Learning Levels help me develop an unmounted lesson program?
There's so much to teach about keeping horses happy and healthy that it can be overwhelming!

That's why we teach important HorseSense and HorseCentered topics in small, progressive steps with repeated skills practice.

The Levels structure makes it easy to set small unmounted learning goals for students that keep them motivated to learn more. It also allows you to track their progress as they build toward more detailed knowledge.
Is this just for children or can adults use the Learning Levels curriculum, too?
We've used the Levels curriculum for many years to successfully teach both children and adults. The program's flexibility has worked for students who begin their education as young as age 4 and as old as age 66.

In case you're wondering, we've had several students start riding in their 60's because our emphasis on safe fundamentals made riding lessons seem possible!
Is the Horsemanship curriculum for English or Western riding?
The Horsemanship curriculum and related teaching resources were originally written for students of English riding, using terminology and exercises geared toward eventing, dressage, jumping and hunt seat equitation, as well as recreational riders wishing to learn in an English saddle.

As the Levels progress, they intend to give the student a secure and versatile balanced seat, with a well-rounded basic education in flatwork, jumping, and riding cross-country.

HOWEVER: we had repeated requests for a Western version of our mounted curriculum... so we added the Western curriculum checklists and progress trackers in 2022. We'll adapt more of our study guides and challenge materials for Western lessons as time permits, primarily after we get the core English stuff published.

Meanwhile, feel free to customize our materials for your own Western riding program as you see fit!
I teach a different style of riding. Can I adapt the curriculum?
Your program is likely to have a different way of teaching some parts of the mounted or unmounted curriculums — and that’s okay!

Use the parts that work for you. Modify other parts to use your local terminology, your tack, disicplines, etc. Rearrange objectives to fit your goals. You'll find tips for adapting the Levels on our How to Customize Learning Levels page.

And remember that teaching students to THINK and to CONSIDER THE CONSEQUENCES of different equine practices will help them become better students and horsemen.
Is the program only available to riding instructors?
We created the Learning Levels website specifically to help equine instructors who teach about horses - in mounted or unmounted lessons.

However, you don’t have to be an equine professional to use our materials or to join LLPro.

In fact, most of our stuff was originally created to help our students learn through self-study. It’s all about creating better riders and making ponies happier, right?

Do keep in mind that all mounted and unmounted activities using horses MUST be supervised by an experienced adult. Please learn SAFELY!


What is available in the Resource Center?
The Resource Center is the place to find all of our current downloadable teaching materials. Every file we've published is listed here — that's literally hundreds of downloads!

You can filter the list for a specific Levels curriculum, Learning Level, resource type, or topic. Or you can just browse through the list to see what's there.
What kinds of teaching resources can be downloaded?
The curriculum and all of our printable teaching tools are formatted as PDF download files. There are also a few zipped archives (.ZIP) with bundled file sets.

Browse through the Resource Center pages to learn more about the types of resources you can use to teach lessons.
Do you have free resources?
Yes! We have free samples of every type of teaching resource we offer. You can use the samples to get ideas for your own materials, or to decide if you want access to all of the members-only resources.

In the Resource Center, you'll find many free resources available to download without a membership - if a listing doesn't have the colorful LLPro tag, it's free to download.

You'll also find helpful insights in the Boss Mares Blog Archives, which has many free blog posts along with the members-only articles.

You and your students can join our free online Quizlet Classroom, which has sets of games for each Level.

And the Learning Levels curriculum has been free to download since 2007!
How do I access the members-only resources?
Our membership-only resources and Boss Mares Blog posts require you to sign-in with your LLPro username and password. Once you're signed in, ALL of the resources are available for you to use online or download.

If you haven't yet joined LLPro, you can learn more HERE.
Can I distribute copies of resource materials to my students?
Yes, all of our resources - including Study Guides - are designed so you can print as many copies as you need, whenever you need them, for use in your instruction program.

You can recover printing costs for study guides by selling them to your students - but reselling Learning Levels materials to anyone outside of your lesson program is a violation of our copyright. Please see our Legal Stuff page for details.

Given that all students these days come factory-equipped with mobile devices, feel free to give students the study guide PDF files, if that's required to get them to read them!
Where can I get Learning Levels ribbons?
Our students love their ribbons, so we've made generic Learning Levels ribbons available for you to purchase through our Shop.

There are several good online sources for ribbons if you want to invest in your own custom ribbons; we've been a happy customer of Hodges Badge since 2004.

Ribbons aren't the only option for rewarding your students' progress, of course. Look for other creative ideas on the About Achievement Tools page.


I can't get the login to work. Help?
Try these things first:

Manually enter your username and password, rather than letting your browser autofill that information, and tap that little eye icon on the login form so you can actually see what it says.

Login credentials are case-sensitive, so check for errant capital letters or misplaced punctuation.

Try it with your username + password first, then try it with your email address + password. (Both should work, but only one combination will be saved in your browser or mobile device.)

If the password you're trying is flagged as incorrect, you can always hit that "Lost your password?" link and follow the password process. TIP: Your "new" password can be identical to the one you were trying to enter.

If all else fails, send us a message - we can help!
Do I need a membership to use the Learning Levels Curriculum?
Our original curriculum checklist has been online and FREE since 2007, and it will always remain free for anyone to download and use in their own equestrian program.

Most of the teaching materials we developed for the curriculum do require a paid membership... because it turns out that websites, like horses, require frequent expensive maintenance!

You'll find free samples of all of our resources, however, to help you decide whether a membership is right for you.
What are the benefits of a membership?
A membership allows you to have unlimited access to download any or all of our resources: study guides, lesson plans, course maps, challenges, etc.

LLPro members also have helpful members-only blog posts, discounts on Shop merchandise, and a private Facebook community for sharing insights and support.
What payment options do you accept?
Membership subscriptions require a credit or debit card, and we use Stripe to process those payments.

So that includes any card that Stripe accepts: Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, etc.
How do I know my payment was correctly processed?
When Stripe has completed a successful transaction on our website, you should see a Thank You page with your purchase details.

You'll also receive an auto-generated email with your purchase receipt, sent within a few minutes to the email address you used to create your account.

If you don't receive the email within 15 minutes, first check your Promo/Spam folder, then send us a message.
How do you use my personal information?
The personal data required to enroll in a membership plan is only used to complete your transaction, to provide access to membership benefits, and to maintain your account.

Your privacy is important to us, so we don't share your personal data with any third-party vendors.

For details about what information we collect and what we do with it, please read our Privacy Statement and Terms and Conditions on the Legal Stuff page.
Can I cancel my membership at any time?
Any membership plan may be cancelled after 30 days; however, membership fees are not refundable. See our Legal Stuff page for details about refunds.

If you cancel your Annual Membership subscription payments, your membership will officially expire at the end of your current billing cycle (one year after your enrollment date). Until that point, you'll still have full access to your plan benefits.

To cancel your current subscription, go to the My LLPro Account page, and look for the Cancel link on the My Membership tab.

You'll then receive an auto-generated email confirming the cancellation — check your Promo/Spam folder if you don't see that email within 5 minutes.
Can I upgrade my membership?
Yes! Currently, we'll need to do this manually. We can cancel your Annual Membership subscription (which is managed by Stripe), and then you'll be able to enroll in the Lifetime Membership, which is a one-time payment.

There's no way to automatically prorate the fees, but contact us to discuss options!
I got an email saying the renewal payment for my Annual Membership subscription has failed. Help?
You'll see that email when Stripe tries to automatically renew your subscription payment and encounters an expired credit card or an account with insufficient funds.

Check your My LLPro Account page for the payment information found on the My Membership tab. If your account is still active, you can use the Update link on that page to change your credit card information.

If you want to cancel your subscription, you should do that from this page — otherwise, Stripe will continue to try the payment and send you the "failed payment" message for several weeks.

If you need help, send us a message!


What can I buy in the shop? Updated!

Resource download files in the Shop have been discontinued — because you told us that you would rather have access to all 300+ resources with a membership instead of buying individual files.

We listened, and made room in the Shop for more hands-on teaching tools, like ribbons for Western riders!

You'll still find all of our original Learning Levels Horsemanship ribbons for English riding,  HorseSense ribbons for your unmounted students, and the new HorseCentered ribbons for groundwork lessons.

Additional teaching tools will get added when we have time, so let us know if there's anything you'd like us to include!
Do I have to be a member to buy something from the shop?
No, an LLPro membership isn't necessary for shop purchases.

You will need to create a Shop account during the checkout process. Once you've completed your first purchase, that account will give you access to a shop account page with details about your purchases - and thereafter you can sign in with your Shop username and password to buy more fun stuff!

Please note that if you are an LLPro member you MUST sign in to apply your LLPro discount code in the cart or at checkout!
How much is the shop discount for members?
LLPro members have a 15% discount code that can be applied to any merchandise purchased in our shop. Please note that you must sign in using your LLPro username and password in order to use the discount.
How do I apply my membership discount in the shop?
Just sign in to your LLPro account, then type in your discount code in the box that says "COUPON CODE" on the Shopping Cart or Checkout page to apply the discount.

If you can't remember the coupon code, just visit your My LLPro Account page to see the code!
What payment methods are accepted?
Shop purchases require a credit or debit card, and we use Stripe to process those payments.

So that includes any card that Stripe accepts: Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, etc.
What shipping options do you offer?
We can ship only to the U.S. and Canada. (We've tried shipping to other countries, but it doesn't make sense for the shipping fees to cost more than the ribbons!)

Our shipping options for both countries have changed: look for updated shipping options and fees on the Legal Stuff page!
How can I change something on my order?
If you need to change something after your order is submitted, contact us as soon as possible. We try to be prompt about shipping orders, but if you catch us before the order hits the mailbox, we can accommodate changes.
Do you offer refunds?
Physical products (e.g., ribbons) from our shop may be returned within 21 days of purchase, provided that we receive the materials in undamaged condition.

You must pay return postage unless we agree otherwise before items are shipped back to us. Refunds will be processed as soon as we receive the materials.

If your Shop order arrives in damaged condition, contact us within 21 days of your purchase date so that we can arrange a replacement or refund.

No refunds can be issued after 21 days from your purchase date.
What do you do with my personal information?
We don't share your personal information with any third parties - see the Legal Stuff page for privacy policy details.

LLPro Membership Benefits

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Join us to get unlimited access to ALL the time-saving resources you need to teach mounted and unmounted lessons. Sign up for an LLPro Membership - cancel at any time.
Join Us!

We’ve been blessed with many talented photographers over the years: students who voluntarily stood in sweltering/ freezing arenas, capturing lifelong memories of lessons, camps and shows. We’re grateful to all of them!

One former student, Delaney Witbrod, is now a professional photographer with a gift for animal portraits – see more of her fine work here. We’re also grateful for photos of Western riding donated by LLPro instructors – particularly Bit of Pleasure Horse School and Joyful Hearts Photography!

You’ll find illustrations throughout our online courses and printed materials graciously donated by our friend Rhonda Hagy. Evan Surrusco contributes additional illustrations and handles most of our photo processing. Contact us for information about their work.